Discipline

Posted by  | Sunday, February 17, 2008  at 6:23 PM  
I have never posted this late in the game, but this week has been a crazy one for us, full of company and a marriage conference over the weekend. Our company stays in our office where the computer is, so I haven't been able to sit at the computer after Laney goes down in the evening. So, please excuse my late post. I did want to share a few, little things in addition to what you've already read from the other readers/authors.

Laney is the youngest of all of the Prayer of Hannah children, so I was so excited about this week being dedicated to discipline. I had to constantly remind myself that being a Prayer of Hannah author did not mean that I have all the answers to raising children and especially with discipline in mind. Whew! What a load off of my shoulders, for I have SO SO much to learn from you all. But instead, our role falls more into creating the opportunity for the community of parents in general to discuss certain topics and learn from one another. I CANNOT tell you how much I've learned from all of our readers!

So, back to little Doodle-Lanes. Here we are at 14 months and JUST this week, I've seen some major changes in how she handles me putting boundaries or parameters on what and when she can/cannot do things. Sure, she's pushed the envelope these past few months and has learned the word "no" when wanting to play with our dog Daisy's food or squirm on the changing table while I'm changing her, but I'm talking about full-blown temper tantrums as of this week. We have a long way to go until my husband and I can truly determine our philosophy for disciplining our daughter and future children. We believe in spanking our children, but we just haven't decided on exactly when to implement "true" spanking. We will soon decide as to how we will spank as well. We believe in never spanking our children in anger or in the heat of the moment. Growing up, there was a SANTIAGO wooden paddle (my maiden name) that was used, and I'm a supporter of paddles instead of using the hand. I have popped Laney's little tail when deliberately disobeying me on the changing table, which is where most of our discipline problems have come from before this week.

Since our family's way of discipline concerning Laney is more or less like the way the other authors discipline, I do not have any stories to really paint a picture of the way we discipline. The only difference is that we aren't really spanking Laney as of yet. I believe that every child is different and that there isn't just one universal way to implement discipline. So, in order to foster some diversity, I asked two friends of mine to share their philosophies of discipline within their own families. One family has two girls, ages three years and the youngest being around five months. The other family is a family of four boys under the age of eleven, I believe. They plan to send their posts in the new few days, since this past week was such a busy one for them.

Since Shepherding A Child's Heart and Don't Make Me Count to Three have already been referenced a few times, I would like to share with you a little bit of what I've learned from an older book that I just started called "Dare to Discipline" by Dr. James Dobson. I'm a HUGE Dr. Dobbs fan. This book has been out for almost forty years, with one revision, so many of you might have already read this book. I am reading "The New Dare To Discipline." I believe right now, the area of discipline is our greatest need and studying up and soaking up ways to discipline Laney is of utmost importance.

Since I'm a bit delayed in posting this week, and since I JUST lost the latter half of my post(sad day), I won't be able to provide the last half of what I had intended on writing. I do, however, want to just share a few highlights from my book that I'm reading. I will try my best to present a few things that I have found helpful. Dobson presents five underpinnings to commonsense child rearing, but I only have three to share with you today:
1.) "Developing respect for parents is the critical factor in child management. " Respect for parents must be maintained for another equally important reason. If you want your child to accept your values when he reaches his teen years, then you must be worthy of his respect during his younger days. When a child can successfully defy his parents during his first fifteen years, laughing in their faces and stubbornly flouting their authority, he develops a natural contempt for them. 'Stupid old Mom and Dad! I have them wrapped around my little finger. Sure they love me, but I really think they're afraid of me." A child may not utter these words, but he feels them each time he outsmarts his elders and wins the confrontations and battles. Later he is likely to demonstrate his disrespect in a more blatant manner. Viewing his parents as being unworthy of his respect, he may very well reject every vestige of their philosophy and faith. ...This factor is also of vital importance to Christian parents who wish to transmit their love for Jesus Christ to their sons and daughters. Why? Because young children typically identify their parents...and especially their fathers...with God.' Therefore, if Mom or Dad are not worthy of respect, then neither are their morals, their country, their values and beliefs, or even their religious faith. "
-"Parents should decide whether an undesirable act represents a direct challenge to their authority...to their leadership position as the father or mother. The form of disciplinary action they take should depend on the result of that evaluation. Do their actions constitute direct challenges to authority? Do they emanate from willful, haughty disobedience?"
-"In my opinion, spankings should be reserved for the moment a child (between the age of eighteen months to ten years old) expresses to parents a defiant "I will not!" or "You shut up!" When youngsters convey this kind of stiff-necked rebellion, you must be willing to respond to the challenge immediately. "
-"Appropriate punishment is not something parents do to a beloved child; it is something done for him or her."
-" Parents should be gentle with their child's ego, never belittling or embarrassing him or her in front of friends....self-esteem is the most fragile attribute in human nature."
-"The art of good parenthood revolves around the interpretation of meaning behind behavior."
-"Repeating the first point, the most vital objective of disciplining a child is to gain and maintain his respect."

2.) "The best opportunity to communicate often occurs after a disciplinary event."
" Parents should not dread or shrink back from confrontations with their children. These occasions should be anticipated as important events, because they provide the opportunity to convey verbal and nonverbal messages to the boy or girl that cannot be expressed at other times. Let me again stress that I am not suggesting that parents use excessive punishment in these encounters. To the contrary, a small amount of discomfort goes a long way toward softening a child's rebellious spirit. However, the spanking should be of sufficient magnitude to cause genuine tears. After emotional ventilation, the child will often want to crumple to the breast of his parent, and he should be welcomed with open, warm, loving arms. At that moment you can talk heart to heart. You can tell him how much you love him, and how important he is to you. You can explain why he was disciplined and how he can avoid the difficulty next time. This kind of communication is often impossible with other disciplinary measures, such as standing the youngster in the corner or taking away his favorite toy. A resentful child usually does not walk to talk....parental warmth after such discipline is essential to demonstrate that it is the behavior-not the child himself-that the parent rejects."

3.) "Control without nagging (it is possible)."
-"Parents often use anger to get action instead of using action to get action....Trying to control children by screaming is as utterly futile as trying to steer a car by honking the horn."
-Dobson suggests a squeeze of the shoulder muscle called the trapezius muscle, lying snugly against the base of the neck, to help in getting the message across that you expect to be listened to and obeyed as the parent. In his case study story, he used an eight year old boy. When this muscle is firmly squeezed, it sends little messengers to the brain saying, "This hurts: avoid recurrence at all costs." The pain is only temporary; it can cause no damage at all. But it is an amazingly effective and practical recourse for parents when their youngster ignores a direct command to move.
-A forewarning should be given (such as "You have 15 more minutes of play.")
-Setting the alarm clock or stove buzzer is wise.
-When buzzer sounds, parent quietly tells child to go take his bath.
-If he didn't move immediately, his shoulder muscle could have been squeezed.
-The parent must recognize that the most successful techniques of control are those which manipulate something of importance to the child.
-Dobson goes on to further explain and give examples as to why the shoulder squeeze is not an act of brutality, but rather a much better choice than an angry, nagging influence that is always ignored by the child, whose words carrying no weight,( thus bringing the parent to the end of their rope, which is dangerous in and of itself.)


I thought these were interesting and enlightening. I am really excited about my two friend's posts that will be up and ready to read in a few days. I have heard a little bit of what they are going to share, and I just can't wait to read all about it.

Let me leave you with a plea for advice concerning tantrums. This week, Laney has thrown three or four tantrums to the point where she went from "zero to sixty in 5.2" and was so upset that she pretty much started choking and her face turned so red, I was afraid she was going to pass out. I know that some babies do pass out. My younger brother did when he was a baby. I'm not sure if these are related to her irritability in teething molars, but I still would like to hear how other mothers have handled these tantrums. I blew in her face to try to get her to breath, and that has worked well concerning the breathing part. If you were there, you'd realize that spanking was not even an option at that point because she couldn't even breathe. This happened in the high chair when I went to feed her and she didn't want to eat anymore, as well as when I brought her in from outside to go take a nap. Granted, looking back I should have gradually eased her into the "night-night nap mode", but with company in town, she was WAY off her schedule and was very irritable from teething. Once I put her in her crib, a few minutes later after closing the door, she was back to her fun-loving, pleasant-happy self. Very rarely is Laney ever upset like that,..until this week. Any advice??

Have a great Monday!

6 comments:

NotesbyNewsome said...

Hi! This may or may not work for you in regards to tantrums...James started having tantrums around 16 months. The best advice I've been given and what works for us is to simply walk away. As soon as he realizes that I am not paying his tantrum any attention he stops. Now that he knows that tantrums do not provoke a reaction from us, he doesn't do them...however, this always leaves the problem that he continues to look for things that will provoke a reaction from us!

Hollie said...

Great! Thanks..I will try it!

Shannon said...

Hollie, Laney is certainly not alone in her tantrums... Maggie throws them at least once a week, more if she doesn't feel good or hasn't had proper sleep.

I have had to put her in her crib a few times. Now, having a 14 month old can really remind you that we are all born sinners, eh? So we agree that her tantrums are not acceptable. But I've also realized that I can head off a lot of the tantrums if I stay ahead of the game in making sure she has plenty of rest and proper snacks.

It took me a while to catch on to the fact that a lot of her grumpiness was coming from her going down for naps too late, or from not giving her snacks early enough, or establishing a schedule for her snacking.

Hope this helps.

Also, has anyone read Family Driven Faith, by Voddie Baucham Jr.? I love what he teaches about the first step of training your children is teaching them to honor and obey Mom & Dad. Good resource.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say that I agree with you on the paddle thing. I used a wooden spoon with my now 5 year old (beginning at 7 months). I don't think you should EVER hit(spank) your child with your hands. A parents hands should be associated with love and not spankings!!! I firmly believe in spanking, but never wanted my child to flinch away from my hands if I made a sudden movement towards him (even if he was doing something wrong he should know that I was coming at him to either pick him up or take something away or whatever the case may be, and not associate my hands with pain AT ALL!!!) He knew however, that when he saw the wooden spoon come out, that he was in trouble!!
Also, I do have an idea for you regarding the temper tantrums. I read this in either Bringing up Boys or The Strong Willed Child, both by Dr. Dobson, I can't remember which. This worked with my son. If I knew he was about to throw a fit about something, or he had just started the fit (and we were at home, I don't think this would be a good idea in public) I would tell him to go ahead and cry and lie in the floor, and kick and do whatever it took to get it out.... (sometimes, I would make him go to his room to do it) and then he had to be done with it, and we could go on with our day. I mean, we all want to scream sometimes, right.... and sometimes, we put our face in a pillow and do it... so I wanted him to know that it was alright to be angry, but whatever it was that he was upset about was not goin to change... so get it out now, and then we move on!!! As he got a little older (2-3) he wouldn't even pitch the fit... he would giggle at the fact that I was "oking" it and we would both end up laughing at what a silly idea it was to pitch a fit in the first place!!! Hope this helps

Kate

Hollie said...

super ideas kate! Thank you for sharing!

Erin said...

I observed many tantrums by my brother growing up. He would scream and hold his breath until he turned blue. My mother would just walk away. Being a nurse, she knew if he passed out, he would start to breathe again. It didn't take long for him to figure out who was in charge.

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